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Attorney Wants Retraction of CNN Story

LemonBlumenthalThe is it or isn’t it debate over a purported audiotape of the Michael Brown shooting hit a new level last night. Lopa Blumenthal, the attorney who provided the audiotape to CNN, and other networks, says she won’t “tolerate being maligned” by those who say the tape is a hoax.

“I’m not going to sit back and take this,” she tells WaPo’s Erik Wemple. “This is affecting my community — people are discussing it. My business exists on the work that I do, which means nothing if people think that I have no integrity.”

Blumenthal contacted CNN’s Don Lemon, who first aired the tape and conducted an interview with her Monday night, to express concern about the “New Day” segment Wednesday which called into question the veracity of the tape. “I need some form of redress,” she says. “My demand would be to not only do a retraction but to basically say that when CNN aired it they were fully aware of the fact that it wasn’t fully authenticated, and they decided to air it in any case with the disclaimer.”

Diane Sawyer Signs Off ‘World News:’ ‘I’ll See You Right Back Here on ABC News, Very Soon’

SawyerFinalIn what may be the most subdued evening news transition since John Chancellor handed off “NBC Nightly News” to Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd in 1982, Diane Sawyer signed off “World News” tonight. ABC hadn’t announced when Sawyer’s final show would air. That news came in a tweet from Sawyer this afternoon.

After a first block of news of the day, the second block included a David Muir “Made in America” report, a franchise which started under Sawyer’s watch. Muir said the ABC team has produced 154 reports and three updates since the series started three years ago. Sawyer then passed the torch her successor. “You know his command and commitment to bringing you the news, and let me just say to you personally right here, I cannot wait to see you in high gear. Let it begin.”

The third block took viewers behind the scenes, with a piece on those who put the show together: producers, writers, editors, correspondents, graphic designers, production crew and more. “Our teams across the country, our teams around the globe working under tight deadlines every single day,” said Sawyer, who then gave viewers a live peek into the control room. Here’s Sawyer’s final block goodbye:  Read more

TV Jobs: NBCUniversal, Fox News, Channel One News

This week, NBCUniversal is hiring a senior producer for Now With Alex Wagner, as well as a line producer for Andrea Mitchell Reports. Meanwhile, Fox News is seeking an information graphics writer, and Channel One News needs a video editor. Get the scoop on these openings below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

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Find more great TV jobs on the TVNewser job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented TVNewser pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

The Scoreboard: Tuesday, August 26

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 264 | MSNBC: 87 | CNN: 163 | HLN: 93
  • Primetime: FNC: 411 | MSNBC: 158 | CNN: 242 | HLN: 95

4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC
Cavuto:

168

TheFive:

339

Baier:

323

Greta:

270

O’Reilly:

450

Kelly:

398

Hannity:

386

O’Reilly:

303

Kelly:

311

MSNBC
Wagner:

50

EdShow:

94

Sharpton:

122

Matthews:

119

Hayes:

134

Maddow:

193

O’Donnell:

144

Hayes:

119

Maddow:

81

CNN
Tapper:

160

Blitzer:

145

Blitzer:

204

Burnett:

283

Cooper:

289

Cooper:

255

Tonight:

182

Tonight:

178

CNNI:

125

HLN
Now:

39

Files:

26

Files:

38

Jane:

113

Grace:

90

Dr.Drew:

69

Files:

126

Files:

189

Files:

218

Read more

In ‘The News Sorority,’ Couric is ‘Brash,’ Sawyer ‘Machiavellian,’ Amanpour’s ‘Moral Superiority’

The News SororityThe Daily Beast‘s Lloyd Grove pored through journalist Sheila Weller’s upcoming TV news tell-all “The News Sorority.” And according to Grove, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, and Christiane Amanpour should expect some non-fiction hazing.

On Couric, Grove excerpts one of the juicier tidbits.

When Diane beat Katie on an interview with a 57-year-old woman who’d given birth to twins, Katie mused aloud, according to a person who heard the comment: “I wonder who she blew this time to get it.” In Weller’s narrative—which, as the subtitle indicates, aspires to document “the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Complicated) Triumph of Women in TV News”–Couric comes off as brash, striving, self-absorbed, and occasionally insensitive to the realities faced by her less well-compensated coworkers, yet steeled by personal tragedy (the cancer-related deaths of her husband and her sister) and capable of big-hearted generosity.

Sawyer, who anchors her final “World News” tonight, is a Type-A personality trading charm for results.

Sawyer is a Machiavellian, often-inscrutable workaholic who uses her seductive charm and good looks to professional advantage and torments news producers with her relentless perfectionism and insecurity—an apparent consequence of a fraught relationship with her judgmental, formidable mother (who once sent the adult Sawyer into a self-flagellating death spiral, Weller writes, when she criticized how her TV star daughter had made her bed).

And “reigning queen of the warzone” Amanpour might need to check her ego Read more

The Afternoon Ticker: Stern, 60 Sports, Todd

  • Fusion has hired Jonathan Stern as VP of Business Development. “Fusion needs to be everywhere our audience is and Jonathan will play a key strategic role in helping us achieve that,” said Fusion CEO Isaac Lee. Stern joins from Red Bull Media.

  • Showtime is moving “60 Minutes Sports” from Wednesday to Tuesday starting next week.  The new season kicks off with Jack Ford’s story featuring Peyton Manning and Duke Football Head Coach David Cutcliffe, who Manning credits with saving his career.

  • Chuck Todd got some advice from the man who’s guested the most on “Meet the Press. On Todd’s MSNBC show this morning, Sen. John McCain told him, “[D]o what you do best, and that is focus on the political dynamics that are going on in this country.”

C-SPAN Gearing Up for Midterm Elections

CSPANIt’s never too early to talk about campaign coverage, right? This afternoon, C-SPAN is out with its plans for the 2014 midterms.

The network will televise over 100 Senate, House, and governor debates leading up to this year’s midterm elections. Many will be simulcasted on local stations across the country.

“With the balance of power at stake in Congress, especially in the closely watched U.S. Senate races, C-SPAN will be the one place where you can see all the debates in the most competitive races,” Steve Scully, C-SPAN’s Sr. EP and political editor, said in a release. “Our partnerships with the local broadcast stations and cable companies across the country who televise these debates locally make our comprehensive coverage possible.”

The first debate in the lineup takes place September 3 at 7pmET on C-SPAN, C-SPAN radio, and C-Span.org, featuring the candidates for one of North Carolina’s Senate seats.

Was Alleged Audio of Michael Brown Shooting on CNN a Hoax?

LemonBlumenthalMediaite writes about CNN’s morning show questioning the reporting of one of CNN’s evening shows.

Monday night, “CNN Tonight” aired an audiotape purported to capture the shooting of Michael Brown. The tape was brought to CNN by St. Louis attorney Lopa Blumenthal, (at right with anchor Don Lemon) who says a former client gave it to her. Lemon repeatedly said that CNN could not verify the authenticity of the tape.

TVNewser has learned CBS News received the same audio earlier this week from Blumenthal, but chose not to run it because it could not be verified.

This morning on “New Day,” two guests on CNN doubted the veracity of it.

“I’ve told your producers that for all I know this is something one of Howard Stern’s punk people had been doing. I look at this and my first inclination is someone is trying to punk CNN,” said former LAPD officer David Klinger. CNN analyst Tom Fuentes also doubted its authenticity: “When I heard this yesterday, I thought the exact same thing: it’s a hoax.”

WaPo’s Erik Wemple reported yesterday on how CNN got its hands on the audiotape. When asked about its authenticity, a CNN spokesperson told Wemple, “[W]e interviewed the caller’s attorney off camera and she answered key questions that gave us confidence to put her on the air live with Don. And we did confirm the caller lived close enough to the shooting to have heard the shots.”

Now it appears, there are doubts inside CNN.

Fox News to Premiere ’13 Hours at Benghazi’

Baier304Days before the two-year anniversary of the terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Fox News will air a special documentary.

“13 Hours At Benghazi,” hosted by Bret Baier, will premiere September 5 at 6pmET. Baier will exclusively interview the American security operatives who fought on the ground.

“The men will share what really happened during the fighting at a U.S. diplomatic compound and at a secret CIA annex nearby, which they were assigned to protect,” FNC previews. This special will reveal their identities for the first time.

The documentary is based on the upcoming book, “13 HOURS: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” written by journalism professor Mitchell Zuckoff. Repeats of the documentary will air Friday, September 5 at 10pmET, Saturday, September 6 at 5pmET and 9pmET, and Sunday, September 7 at 12amET, 8pmET, and 11pmET.

Freed Journalist Peter Theo Curtis Asks For Space From Media Covering His Story

TheoFreed American journalist Peter Theo Curtis, who was imprisoned for nearly two years in Syria, spoke for the first time since his release this morning..

“I had no idea when I was in prison so much effort was being expended on my behalf, and now having found out, I am just overwhelmed by emotion,” Curtis said outside his family’s home in Massachusetts.

Curtis also had an honest message for the media.

“I’m so grateful you are expressing all this interest in me, at the same time I have to bond with my mother and my family now, and I can’t give you an interview and I can’t give you talk back and forth, and that’s all I can say to you. In the future, I promise I will respond to your emails…and help you do your job. I’m one of you, and I know what you guys are going through, so I want to help you guys, and I will be there, and I will respond, but I can’t do it now.”

Curtis took no questions. Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN all took his statement.

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